Four years ago, Sam van Til and Nout Kooij thought it was time to contribute to a sustainable Amsterdam. Much of the plastic that is collected cannot be recycled and they wanted to do something with that. Sam en Nout developed a 3D printer to make new products with this leftover material. Their company vanPlestik is now a great success and they hope to place their 3D printers all over the world. Roos, working at vanPlestik, tells us their story.
What exactly does vanPlestik do?
We use our large-scale 3D printers to process plastic waste into new and valuable products. We focus on waste streams that are very difficult to recycle. This is actually the reason why we started vanPlestik – there is a lot of plastic that is collected that still ends up in the incinerator. It’s actually not good enough to recycle, the requirements for recycled plastic are very high. The material that is normally rejected is therefore incinerated. We thought that was a shame – it is still nice material to do something with. The initiators of vanPlestik, Sam and Nout, thought it was time to design a 3D printer that was specially made to work with these waste streams. And we keep improving, because every week we look at what could be even better, what kind of material could possibly be added to it.
What inspired Nout and Sam to start vanPlestik?
Ultimately, they wanted to create something that feels very tangible and valuable, while we now see plastic as disposable material. For example, by turning it into a table or a vase, it feels much more valuable than a plastic bag, while it is often made of the same material. By showing that this is also plastic and attaching much more value to it, we can inspire people to deal better with plastic by, for example, not letting it wander on the street or just burn it.
What is your mission?
We would really like to grow internationally. We now have 3 large 3D printers in Amsterdam, which means we often work with companies here in Amsterdam. If we can do that in Amsterdam, it can also be done in many other places! Especially in places where recycling is less organized than at here in The Netherlands. How nice would it be if there was a vanPlestik 3D printer on an Indonesian island to recycle local plastic there. That’s our ultimate dream – that our printers will be placed all over the world!
What are you most proud of so far?
We are proud of several things! We often work with companies to make something with their plastic waste streams. We have done a project together with Fairphone. Some time ago there was a production error in the covers of one of their phones. They wanted to recycle all these covers, but that turned out not to be possible because the mix of materials was difficult to recycle. Eventually they came to us and we could do something with their covers! We have turned it into bright red stools and blue stands for brochures for trade fairs. We have been able to turn it into useful and valuable products and that’s our goal!
We now also make our own products that we sell ourselves. We now make lamps, tables, chairs, vases, all of which will soon be available in our webshop.
Shared by Your Souldier